Monthly Archives: February 2015

Literally a “Mile”stone!

Today was a great day!!  I ran a mile on the treadmill without stopping!!!!!  ONE MILE!!! WOO HOO!!!  Praise God!!!  I had not done that since way before my heart attack.  The most I had run up until today was a 1/2 mile without stopping.

This certainly surprised me today, and I didn’t wake up this morning thinking, “I’ll run a mile today!”  When I got to the gym, I was feeling pretty good (and I had a good run/walk in my neighborhood the day before), so I thought I might try to go 0.6 miles.  But if I was going to do that, why not just round it up to 3/4 of a mile!

Well, I was feeling pretty good during my run, was keeping a steady pace (4.2) and my heart rate was doing ok, so I thought…”if I’m feeling this good, why not go for the gold and what’s another 0.25 miles!?!”  So, I DID IT!!!  I continued running until I had done 1.0 mile!!!!  I maintained the same pace of 4.2 the ENTIRE time, and I felt great!  Wow, this 5K may come sooner than I expected since this 1 mile run came earlier than I expected!

I have to gush that I am so proud of myself.  I was gushing on the treadmill and smiling ear to ear.  I wanted to scream to the world and couldn’t wait to get home to share the news with all of you.  I hope this helps motivate me to continue pressing forward and adding a little more every few weeks.  It makes my goal of completing a 5K by running the entire thing more a reality.  I was beginning to doubt it a few months ago (agreeing with what that dr had said – that I might not be able to do it).  But remember, I’m determined to prove that dr wrong!  🙂

I think I’m about as proud of myself today as I was when I completed my one and only Disney 1/2 marathon in 2007.  Both accomplishments were quite a feat.  Both felt fantastic.  Both gave me a sense of pride.  And both made me want to work harder to take care of myself so I don’t undo all the good that I did.

I hope this inspires at least one person.  And I hope I have another “mile”stone to announce in the near future!

Thanks for reading my post and sharing in my excitement of the day!

Happy running!

Recent Visit to the ER

A few weeks ago, I had to make a visit to the Emergency Room.  What a treat that was!  Here is how it all began…

I woke up with severe pain underneath my left shoulder blade that wrapped around to the left side of my chest.  At times, I could not even move.  It also hurt to breathe deeply.  The day before, my friend, Jennifer, had just sent me an article about back pain and heart attacks.  Naturally, this made me very nervous, and I was afraid I might be having another heart attack, especially with the painful breaths, which reminded me of the day of my heart attack.  I could not get comfortable to make the back pain go away, so I called my cardiologist nurse.  She did not think it was cardiac-related, and suggested I called my PCP,  which I did.  There were no appointments available to allow me to be seen that day, so the receptionist transferred me to a nurse who suggested (due to my history) that I go to the ER.  My concern was that I might have pneumonia if it wasn’t a heart attack because I had a sore throat for a few days prior.  The nurse was also concerned about that.

So, I got dressed into another pair of pajamas and called my mom to have her drive me to the ER.  Thank goodness that there is a hospital less than a mile from my house, so I figured I would try that ER since it was so close.  I’m not going to mention the hospital name at this time, but I do NOT plan on using that hospital ER ever again!!!!

I arrived around 3pm and was told there would be a 2 hour wait just to see a triage nurse.  There were signs all over the check-in desks that said if you were having chest pain to let them know and not fill out the paperwork.  I let them know that I was having pain in my left chest and pointed to the site of the pain.  The unfriendly check-in lady said that was not my chest, it was my ribs.  (OH, EXCUSE ME, I THOUGHT MY RIBS WERE IN MY CHEST CAVITY).  I also let her know that I was a heart attack patient.  She did not seem to care unless I was having “chest” pain.  What I thought was so crazy about this “chest” pain thing and how adamant they were about it is that most women do NOT have chest pain when they are having a heart attack.  I didn’t.  I had arm pain.  I was in too much pain to argue or talk back to them  at that time, but it really made no sense.  So I imagine that most of their female heart attack patients do not fare well because they come in with non-chest pain and are made to wait for hours in the ER waiting room while men fare better  because they have chest pain and are treated immediately??  I’d love to see the statistics in that hospital.

Anyway, I had to wait over 2 hours to see a triage nurse.  She seemed concerned about my pain and the fact that I was a heart attack patient, and within a few minutes, I was in the ER in a bed being seen by a doctor who was also very concerned.  DUH!  I explained everything about my pain and everything about my heart attack.  He took me very seriously and was going to do a full cardiac workup on me along with a chest X-ray (to check for pneumonia) and a CT scan of my abdomen (to check my kidneys).

All-in-all, I spent about 5 hours in the ER (from the time I arrived).  My chest X-ray did not show any pneumonia, but it did show bronchial cuffing (which the dr did not discuss with me, I  just noticed on my report after leaving).  The bronchial cuffing on the report said it could be caused by bronchitis, but I didn’t have a cough or bronchitis.  I googled it, and it can also be caused by acute pulmonary edema (which I had during my heart attack) and CHF.  It’s something I need to add to my list to ask my cardiologist about because he said that I did not have any lung damage as a result of the acute pulmonary edema.  I’m not sure if cuffing is considered “damage”.

My CT scan did not show anything wrong with my kidneys (no kidney stones), but I noticed on the report that I have a 4.4cm hemangioma on my liver.  The dr did not mention this, but my GI dr saw this on a CT scan that he ordered on me a few weeks earlier and said it was nothing to worry about.  Of course, I will worry about it a little later.  The GI dr said he would do another CT scan in 6 months if I wanted one, so I will take him up on that in 6 months just to be sure…based on my luck lately.

My cardiac workup was abnormal, but I told the dr that my EKG is abnormal now and has inverted T waves.  He said that is what his showed, too, and that my heart was ischemic.

So, he said to make sure I took the reports to my dr to have him look over everything to ensure they were “normal” for me, which they were when I went to my next cardiologist appointment.

Thank goodness nothing was wrong, and the fact that I went to the ER and was thoroughly checked out made me feel SO much better.  The dr prescribed me some pain medicine, and I already had an appointment with my GI dr a couple days later where we discussed GI issues that I’d been having.

I will say that next time I have an emergency (and am able to be driven to the ER), I will go the few extra miles to go to another hospital or drive even more miles to get to an Orlando Health hospital.

National Wear Red Day

National Wear Red Day was a success and was fun.  In case you missed it on the Love Your Heart Facebook page, here is a photo!!

wearreddayphoto

My red converse are about 24 years old and still going strong, love these red jeans (wear them all the time), the red purse is Dooney & Bourke (I’m a huge Dooney fan) from QVC.  My sweater has dogs on it, but I still thought it was perfect to wear…and apparently, the American Heart Association thought so, too, as evidenced in a response to my post on their Facebook page!!  (You have to read it!)

And for those days that aren’t called National Wear Red Day or where I don’t want to wear all red, I now have my #GoRedPin that will match any and everything!!!

reddressphoto

Do you have yours?  If not, it’s very easy to get.  Go to their website and enter your information.  It took a while to receive mine, but I also received a note with mine saying they had a rare glitch or something where they missed a period of time of requests last year.  So you shouldn’t have that problem now.

I’m also looking forward to the day after Valentine’s Day clearance sales.  I’m hoping to find a cute heart scarf or socks or some other cute stuff to add to my “heart accessories” collection.  Hmmm…maybe I’ll just spend that day shopping all day!!!  Any suggestions on where to go?  Who’s selling super cute Valentine’s Day tops, jewelry, accessories?  You better believe I’ll be wearing that stuff year-round!  And you should, too, if you’re a heart disease survivor!!!  HAVE FUN WITH IT!!!  BE HEART PROUD!

Latest Cardiologist Appointment

All went well with my latest appointment!  My cardiologist was pleased at how I’ve been feeling, did not change any meds, did not order any new tests, and does not need to see me again until June!!!!  In fact, my next appointment is scheduled on the 1-year anniversary of my Heart Attack! (I may end up rescheduling if I plan something so spectacular to celebrate that it requires I free up the entire day. hee hee)

But wait…what will I do without the monthly doctor’s visits???  Of course, he said I can still come in if I need to, and I’m sure I will still be calling as often as I need to.  Either the nurses’ phone has caller ID or they have my number memorized because they greet me by name when I call there now.  LOL!  (Yes, folks, that is how often I call my cardiologist’s office with questions, frantic concerns, and outrageous symptoms.)

Nonetheless, I was very thankful to get a “clean” bill of health (or as clean as it can be for a heart patient) for the next few months.  It makes me feel somewhat back to normal for a little while!  And that could be a very good thing psychologically!